City Sierra Club Challenges Roads/Transit Ballot Title
posted by August 29 at 14:09 PMon
The local chapter of the Sierra Club has filed a challenge to the language describing the roads/transit measure on the ballot in November. Basically, the Sierra Club is saying the language that will go on the ballot itself and the explanatory statement that will be included in voters’ guides is written to unfairly prejudice voters in favor of the measure. Among other things, the club is alleging:
• That the ballot language doesn’t accurately describe how the roads and transit improvements would be funded, and for how long the taxes that pay for the package would last.
• That the ballot language implies that voting “no” on the package would stop light rail that’s already funded from moving forward. In fact, the package would fund 50 new miles of light rail.
• That the language inaccurately describes the roads part of the package as “replacing vulnerable bridges, improving safety, and increasing capacity on state and local roads to link major education, employment, and retail centers.” The Sierra Club says this is false because the package fully replaces only one bridge (the South Park bridge over the Duwamish River), only addresses safety in the context of increasing road capacity, and doesn’t specifically link major centers.
• That the explanatory statement does not explain what will be built, when it will be built, how much it will cost, and what taxes will pay for it. The Club wants the explanatory statement to include the total number of new road miles that would be built by the measure, and the total cost of the package, including operations and maintenance and inflation. Including everything the Sierra Club wants to include would increase the stated cost of the package from $17.8 billion to $47.7 billion.
• That the entire ballot measure violates King County’s single-subject rule, which limits all ordinances to a single subject.
The Sierra Club will also be back in court Friday on its earlier challenge to the makeup of the committee that will write the voters’ guide statement against the package, which is made up entirely of anti-transit stalwarts, including Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, Jr.